From Our Files, June 3 2022

In 1952: During the visit of the Blood Transfusion Unit to Campbeltown Town Hall, Mrs Lewis, honorary secretary of the Kintyre division of the Red Cross, is seen with ventricular assist devices and blood donors. The blood transfusion service sent the following telegram to Mrs Lewis: ‘Congratulations upon the very excellent response and deep appreciation of your hard work.’
In 1952: During the visit of the Blood Transfusion Unit to Campbeltown Town Hall, Mrs Lewis, honorary secretary of the Kintyre division of the Red Cross, is seen with ventricular assist devices and blood donors. The blood transfusion service sent the following telegram to Mrs Lewis: ‘Congratulations upon the very excellent response and deep appreciation of your hard work.’

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TEN YEARS AGO
Friday June 1, 2012

Town now proud owner of airbase

At last, after four years of hard work, Machrihanish Airbase is now owned by the community of Campbeltown.

In the largest and most complicated buyout seen to date, Machrihanish Airbase Community Company (MACC) finally secured the deal from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) for just £1.

And reassurances were given this week, in an exclusive interview to the Courier, that there is no radioactive contamination at the former RAF site.

The site boasts more than 200 buildings, one of Europe’s longest runways, and 1,025 acres of land.

There is around 14 miles of road on the site, with leisure facilities including tennis and squash courts, as well as a shooting range.

The buyout has been completed with support and financial assistance from the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Water and the MoD.

Over the last four years, the community has been waiting in anticipation about developments with the base, with negotiations going on behind the scenes to come to a conclusion.

Chairman of MACC Ian Wardrop said the next steps were to fully inform the community of the plans for the future.

A public meeting will take place on June 14 to show the community what they have for their money.

‘This will be something the community has for generations,’ he explained. ‘We will build on what we’ve got and the money made will remain in the community.’

In 2012: Environment minister Stewart Stevenson visited Machrihanish Airbase earlier this week, and met with chairman of the airbase group Ian Wardrop, right, as well as board members and directors. No radioactive material was found on the site during the survey, the minister said.
In 2012: Environment minister Stewart Stevenson visited Machrihanish Airbase earlier this week, and met with chairman of the airbase group Ian Wardrop, right, as well as board members and directors. No radioactive material was found on the site during the survey, the minister said.

TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO
Friday June 6, 1997

Duke of Kent in Wee Toon

Volunteer crew members of Campbeltown Lifeboat met their president during a Royal visit to the town last Thursday.

His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent, KG, president of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, visited the town during a whistle-stop tour of lifeboat stations, which also included a trip to Islay.

His Royal Highness was accompanied to Campbeltown and Islay by His Grace the Duke of Argyll.

In 1997: HRH the Duke of Kent signing the visitors’ book at Campbeltown Lifeboat Station.
In 1997: HRH the Duke of Kent signing the visitors’ book at Campbeltown Lifeboat Station.

During the visit, which was classed as a high security operation and was therefore kept hush-hush until the last minute, HRH met the Campbeltown Coxswain Jim McPhee, crew and families, the Campbeltown station branch honorary secretary Captain Gordon Black, chairman of the Campbeltown RNLI Dr Archie Wallace and other station officials as well as fundraisers.

He was also shown the station’s 52-foot Arun-class and the 16-foot D-class lifeboats as well as being shown around the lifeboat station itself.

He also met members of the Campbeltown Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild and then popped into the RNLI shop which is manned by the guild.

His visit to Campbeltown was part of a tour including Portpatrick, Stranraer and Islay last Thursday and Friday.

Before arriving in Campbeltown, HRH visited Port Askaig on Islay where he presented long service awards to lifeboatmen Iain McKechnie and Gordon Covell.

FIFTY YEARS AGO
Thursday June 8, 1972

Spanish skipper fined £100

The skipper of a Spanish trawler was fined £100 and had his nets forfeited at Campbeltown Sheriff Court yesterday when he pleaded guilty to carrying nets of an illegal size inside British territorial waters.

The master of the Ondarroa-registered Zabaleta Anayak explained in court that he did not realise he was committing an offence by steaming with his nets onboard on the deck of his vessel.

HMS Charlton, under the command of Lieutenant Commander Stephen Taylor, RN, came alongside of the vessel off Islay and escorted the boat to Campbeltown where it was held until the sitting of the court.

Sheriff Donald Jay McDiarmid asked the skipper if he was aware that Spain was a party to the treaty enforcing these laws. He replied: ‘No.’

The nets were well under the 70 mm size.

After pronouncing sentence, the sheriff ordered that the vessel be held in Campbeltown until the fine is paid.

An American serviceman (based at Machrihanish) acted as interpreter at the court.

SEVENTY YEARS AGO
Thursday June 5, 1952

Queen’s Birthday Honour for CFA chairman

Mr Robert McGown, 18 Smith Drive, Campbeltown, has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s first Birthday Honours list, published this morning.

The award is given in recognition of his services to the fishing industry.

Mr McGown is chairman of the Clyde Fishermen’s Association and skipper of the ring-net vessel Felicia, which is at present operating from Mallaig in the north.

We congratulate Mr McGowan on this honour, which will give great satisfaction to the fishing community of Kintyre. Mr McGown is 49 and the son of a fisherman.

Motor rally

Both sides of the Kintyre peninsula will today (Thursday) see the competing cars in the 10th Scottish Motor Rally organised by the Royal Scottish Automobile Club, which started from the club’s headquarters at Blythswood Square, Glasgow, on Monday.

There are 98 entries, with 10 lady competitors taking part; the cars range from the small MGs to a 40/50 Rolls-Royce car built in 1912 and driven by Lord Bruce.

Many of the competitors come from England and Northern Ireland.

The cars are due to check in at 11am at the Royal Hotel, Campbeltown, which will be the control point for this area.

In 1952: Miss Elizabeth McPhail, Lochgilphead, senior medal winner at the Kintyre Mòd, with secretary Donald Ronaldson and president Hector MacNeill.
In 1952: Miss Elizabeth McPhail, Lochgilphead, senior medal winner at the Kintyre Mòd, with secretary Donald Ronaldson and president Hector MacNeill.

New herring-cannery at Ayr

The opening at Ayr in William Milne’s ice plant of a new herring-cannery by Henry Sutton Ltd, Great Yarmouth, marks the completion of the first stage of the project to provide an on-the-spot canning service for the Scottish West Coast.

Completed after only 11 weeks’ work, the cannery covers 5,400 square feet with ample space for expansion.

Output of the plant is approximately 20,000 cans per day, but arrangements are being made to increase production to about 30,000.

Herring fleet in the Hebrides

Last weekend, some 20 pair of Clyde ring-net vessels were operating in the Hebrides.

The summer fishing there has commenced a month later than usual, due to the absence of the shoals, but, according to a correspondent, the prospects are good.

The ring-netters are from Campbeltown and the Ayrshire ports of Dunure and Maidens.